Can You Get The Pneumonia Vaccine & The Influenza Vaccine
With flu season here, well also note that you can get the influenza vaccine and either pneumococcal vaccine at the same time. At-risk adults and seniors should always get the influenza vaccine annually, as the flu can further increase risk of contracting pneumococcal disease. However, while you do need the influenza vaccine once a year, you dont need the pneumococcal vaccine annually. In fact, all adults 65 years or older should only receive one dose of PPSV23.
Who Should Not Get The Vaccine
People should not get the vaccine if they have had a life threatening allergic reaction to a previous dose.
Additionally, a person should not undergo vaccination if they have had an allergic reaction to medication containing diphtheria toxoid or an earlier form of the pneumonia vaccination .
Lastly, people who are sick or have allergic reactions to any of the ingredients of the vaccine should talk to a doctor before getting the shot.
A pneumonia shot will not reduce pneumonia. However, it helps prevent invasive pneumococcal diseases, such as meningitis, endocarditis, empyema, and bacteremia, which is when bacteria enter the bloodstream.
Noninvasive pneumococcal disease includes sinusitis.
There are two types of pneumonia shots available. Which type a person gets depends on their age, whether or not they smoke, and the presence of any underlying medical conditions.
The two types are:
- Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine : Healthcare providers recommend this vaccine for young children, people with certain underlying conditions, and some people over the age of 65 years.
- Pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine : Healthcare providers recommend this vaccine for anyone over 65 years of age, people with certain underlying conditions, and people who smoke.
According to the
- roughly 8 in 10 babies from invasive pneumococcal disease
- 45 in 100 adults 65 years or older against pneumococcal pneumonia
- 75 in 100 adults 65 years or older against invasive pneumococcal disease
Who Should Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
So that depends on which specific pneumonia vaccine you’re talking about.
The CDC recommends that these groups get PPSV23:
- All adults 65 years or older.
- People ages 2 through 64 with certain medical conditions
- Adults 19 through 64 years old who smoke cigarettes
The CDC recommends that the following groups get PCV13:
- All children younger than 2 years old.
- People 2 years or older with certain medical conditions.
Here’s where things get a little tricky: The CDC specifically says that adults 65 years or older should discuss and decide with their doctor if they should get PCV13that’s because that pneumonia vaccine used to be recommended for all older adults in the US, but the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices a group of top medical and public health experts in the countryhelped to change that in 2019. The organization released a report at that time saying that PCV13 simply may not be necessary for healthy adults aged 64 and older.
“The effectiveness of this vaccine in kids is driving down cases in adults,” John E. McGinniss, MD, a pulmonologist at Penn Medicine, tells Health, adding that it’s “probably overkill” to give most adults PCV13, along with PPSV23.
David Cutler, MD, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in Santa Monica, California, agrees. “We’ve done such a good job vaccinating children that we’ve found there’s less of a need to give it to adults,” he tells Health.
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Who Should Get Pneumococcal Vaccines
CDC recommends pneumococcal vaccination for all children younger than 2 years old and all adults 65 years or older. In certain situations, older children and other adults should also get pneumococcal vaccines. Below is more information about who should and should not get each type of pneumococcal vaccine.
Talk to your or your childs doctor about what is best for your specific situation.
Who Should Not Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
Again, its best to determine this with your doctor, but as a general rule, the CDC states you should not get the pneumococcal vaccine if:
- You or your child has had a severe or life-threatening allergy to the current PCV13 or Prevnar 13®) vaccine, the past PCV7 vaccine or any vaccine containing diphtheria toxoid.
- You or your child are currently battling a severe illness.
How Often Should My Children Get Pneumonia Vaccine
The age of your child plays a big role in determining the frequency of getting pneumonia vaccine. How often should your child have the vaccine at different ages?
Children Younger than 2 Years Old
Your infants will get PCV13 vaccine as a series of four doses. The first dose will be given at 2 months, second at 4 months, third at 6 months, and the last one between 12 months and 15 months. Your children should get the vaccine even if they miss their shots in the beginning.
Children from 2 to 5 Years Old
Children between 24 months and 4 years old with incomplete PCV13 series should get one dose of it. Those who are in the same age group but has some medical conditions should get a couple of doses of PCV13 in case they have not completed the full course of vaccine. This is usually the case for children with medical conditions, such as cerebrospinal fluid leaks, cochlear implants, sickle cell disease, chronic heart or lung disease, and HIV/AIDS. Children who are on medications that weaken the immune system should get a dose under a physician’s supervision.
Children from 6 to 8 Years Old
Children between 6 and 8 years old should get a single dose of PCV13, especially if they have certain medical conditions, such as HIV-infection, sickle cell disease, and other conditions leading to compromised immunity. These children should receive PCV13 even if they have received doses of PCV7 or PPSV23 in the past. Talk to your healthcare provider for more details.
How Dispatchhealth Is Improving Healthcare
While pneumococcal vaccines can protect at-risk individuals from getting pneumonia and developing extreme complications from other respiratory infections, contraction can still happen. For seniors, in particular, pneumonia can be life threateningespecially in those with chronic conditions (like
COPD and diabetes). Pneumonia can also occur post infection, developing after the flu or COVID-19making it important for at-risk adults to watch for symptoms.
If you do have symptoms, reach out to DispatchHealth for on-demand services that come to you. We provide an urgent healthcare alternative for those with chronic conditions and acute medical concerns, treating a variety of health complications (like flu, pneumonia, and
COVID-19) in the comfort of the home. Our medical teams will come prepared with nearly all the tools and technologies found in a traditional ER setting, but without the disruptive or impersonal medical experience. Whats more, our streamlined service is compatible with most insurancesincluding Medicaid and Medicareand we offer an affordable flat rate for uninsured patients.
This flu season, you can count on DispatchHealth. We can also test for COVID-19 as well as treat and support COVID-19 patients. To request care, simply contact us via phone, mobile app, or through our website.
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How Long Does A Pneumonia Shot Last
- Younger than 2 years old: four shots
- 65 years old or older: two shots, which will last you the rest of your life
- Between 2 and 64 years old: between one and three shots if you have certain immune system disorders or if youre a smoker
How Often Is The Pneumococcal Vaccine Given
Babies receive the pneumococcal vaccine as three separate injections, at 2 months, 4 months and 12-13 months.
People over-65 only need a single pneumococcal vaccination which will protect for life. It is not given annually like the flu jab.
People with a long term health condition may need just a single one-off pneumococcal vaccination or five-yearly vaccination depending on their underlying health problem.
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When To Avoid Pneumococcal Vaccination
The pneumococcal vaccine is quite effective but there are situations when you should avoid it. For instance:
- Fever at the Appointment: Children should not get the pneumonia shot when they have a fever. If your children feel unwell, consult the doctor before taking the vaccine.
- Vaccine Allergy: It is important to avoid the vaccine if you are allergic to any ingredients in the vaccine because it can lead to an anaphylactic reaction that can cause serious complications. You can have it if you have had it in the past and only developed a mild reaction, such as a rash.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: You can get the pneumococcal vaccine when you are pregnant or breastfeeding your baby. But it is best to be on the safe side and get it after you have delivered the baby.
Vaccines For Children Program
The Vaccines for Children Program provides vaccines to children whose parents or guardians may not be able to afford them. A child is eligible if they are younger than 19 years old and meets one of the following requirements:
- American Indian or Alaska Native
If your child is VFC-eligible, ask if your doctor is a VFC provider. For help in finding a VFC provider near you, contact your state or local health departments VFC Program Coordinator or call CDC at 1-800-CDC-INFO .
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Pneumonia Vaccine: How Often Should You Get It
In the U.S., pneumococcal disease is responsible for killing thousands of people each year and about 18,000 of these are people older than 65. Thousands of adults have to stay in the hospital for proper treatment because the disease can cause several complications, including infections of the lining of the spinal cord and brain, bloodstream, and lungs. To ensure you do not have to deal with these complications, it is important to receive vaccinations for pneumococcal disease. The vaccine you receive contains the bacterium called Streptococcus pneumoniae that helps build immunity against bacterial pneumonia. While the vaccine definitely helps, you need to know when to get pneumonia vaccine. How often should you get the vaccine is anther question people ask. Here is the answer.
What’s The Best Time Of Year To Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
It’s really up to you. “You can get it any time of the year,” Dr. Panettieri says. “Pneumonia is most common in the winter and fall, but you can get the pneumococcal vaccine any time.”
Just a heads up, per the ACIP: If you and your doctor decide that you should get PCV13, you’ll want to wait at least a year until you get PPSV23. Research has found that waiting at least a year between these vaccines created the best immune response.
If you have any questions about the pneumonia vaccine and whether it’s right for you, talk to your doctor for guidance.
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Everything You Need To Know About The Pneumonia Vaccine
During the winter months, many people think that they have a nasty cold or flu, but it turns out to be pneumonia an illness that can be life threatening in certain people. A vaccine can help lower your chance of contracting pneumonia. While the pneumonia vaccine does not prevent all cases of pneumonia, it reduces the severity of the disease.
That is especially important for older adults and if you have certain medical conditions that put you at greater risk for complications.
Now is the time to talk to your doctor about your risks and if you need a vaccine to protect you against pneumonia.
Niharika Juwarkar, MD, Internal Medicine with Firelands Physician Group, answers your most frequently asked questions about pneumonia and the risks.
What is pneumonia?
Pneumonia is a respiratory lung infection that is often mistaken for the flu. Your lungs become filled with fluid or pus that results in inflammation. Symptoms are very similar to the flu, but pneumonia can last for weeks and result in very serious complications.
While pneumonia can be caused by bacteria, viruses or fungi, most cases are due to a specific bacteria called streptococcus pneumoniae, more commonly known as pneumococcal pneumonia. This form can be treated with antibiotics. Your doctor can test to see what form of pneumonia you have. Treatment depends on the type of pneumonia you have and the severity of your symptoms. But, the best defense is vaccination.
Who is most at risk for pneumonia?
What Are The Possible Side Effects Of Pneumococcal Immunisation
All medicines and vaccines can have side effects. Sometimes they are serious, most of the time theyre not.
For most people, the chance of having a serious side effect from a vaccine is much lower than the chance of serious harm if you caught the disease.
Talk to your doctor about possible side effects of pneumococcal vaccines, or if you or your child have symptoms after having a pneumococcal vaccine that worry you.
Common side effects of pneumococcal vaccines include:
- pain, redness and swelling where the needle went in
- reduced appetite
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Who Shouldn’t Get The Pneumonia Vaccine
If you don’t meet the recommendations for the pneumonia vaccine, you really don’t need to get it, pulmonary critical care expert Reynold Panettieri, MD, director of the Institute for Translational Medicine and Science at Rutgers University, tells Health. “It’s a risk-benefit ratio,” he explains. “If you’re under 65 and are otherwise healthy, your likelihood of developing pneumococcal pneumonia is unlikely,” he says.
But there are some people who explicitly shouldn’t get the vaccines, per the CDC. Those include:
- People who have had a life-threatening allergic reaction to PCV13, PPSV23, an early pneumococcal conjugate vaccine called PCV7, the DTaP vaccine, or any parts of these vaccines. Talk to your doctor if you’re unsure.
- People who are currently ill.
When Is The Pneumonia Vaccine Given
The pneumonia vaccine is not the same as the flu vaccine, as it doesnt need to be given at a certain time of year. Rather, it can be given at any time, as long as its safe for you to have it.
However, if youre in a high-risk group for pneumonia, you should get the vaccine as soon as possible to make sure youre protected.
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How Often Should I Get Pneumonia Vaccine
If you are over 65 but are overall healthy, you should get a one-time vaccination with the pneumonia shot. You do not require a booster shot in this case, but some doctors recommend getting a second shot 5-10 years after the first one. In case you smoke, have chronic lung disease, or have impaired immunity, you should get your first pneumonia shot whenever you want. The same holds true for anyone who has a dysfunctional spleen.
The frequency of pneumonia vaccine depends on your age and overall health. However, it is usually enough to get the pneumonia shot once or twice during adulthood to protect yourself from pneumococcal disease. It is different from flu shots that you need to get every year. The reason is pneumonia virus does not change constantly as in the case of the influenza virus. Because the influenza virus mutates constantly, the vaccine that may have worked last year may no longer be effective in the next year.
Discussion And Future Directions
Over the past 100 years, substantial progress has been made in the prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease. Current recommendations reflect a series of changes made over a relatively short span of time, on the basis of growing data and experience with both polysaccharide and conjugate vaccines in multiple different populations. With so many nearly simultaneous changes in vaccine strategy, it remains a challenge to appropriately attribute the source of greatest effect. It is clear that prior PCV7 vaccination strategies in children over the past 2 decades yielded substantial indirect impacts on the prevalence of adult vaccine-type pneumococcal disease, and therefore the switchover to preferential use of PCV13 in the pediatric population may be expected to yield more of the same, although that remains to be proven.
At this point, we are still inferring future benefits from data presently available. The original impetus for use of PCV13 in the elderly population was the robust immunogenicity data in this population. This fact, in conjunction with clinical trial results in immunocompromised populations, was the foundation for the present substantial shift in adult immunization practice. Although this strategy appears to be well supported by the compelling results observed in CAPiTA, with 45% efficacy in prevention of community-acquired pneumonia and 75% efficacy in prevention of invasive pneumococcal disease, there are some caveats to consider.
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Who Should Have The Pneumococcal Vaccine
Anyone can get a pneumococcal infection. But some people are at higher risk of serious illness, so it’s recommended they’re given the pneumococcal vaccination on the NHS.
- adults aged 65 or over
- children and adults with certain long-term health conditions, such as a serious heart or kidney condition
Babies are offered 2 doses of pneumococcal vaccine, at 12 weeks and at 1 year of age.
People aged 65 and over only need a single pneumococcal vaccination. This vaccine is not given annually like the flu jab.
If you have a long-term health condition you may only need a single, one-off pneumococcal vaccination, or a vaccination every 5 years, depending on your underlying health problem.
It Can Help Prevent Very Serious Infections Throughout The Body
Your lungs arent the only part of the body vulnerable to pneumococcal infections. Those pathogens can invade other areas, as well.
Bacterial infections, by their nature, are dirty infections they are bugs in our system, says Ian Neel, M.D., associate clinical professor and medical director in the Division of Geriatrics and Gerontology at UC San Diego Health. If left untreated, or if part of a particularly virulent strain, they typically take hold in a specific site the lungs, for example. If they expand too much, they can get into other surrounding tissues and can move into our bloodstream. And if its in our bloodstream, it can get spread throughout our body, which can be catastrophic.
To say the least. Pneumococcal infections can lead to sepsis, which is an aggressive inflammatory response that can ultimately result in organ failure and death. In rarer cases, the infection can pass through the brain barrier and cause meningitis.
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